Chris Rock and beyond: Memorable quotes from the 2016 Oscars

With the singular comedian Chris Rock acting as host, with both a pivotal election year and the still-trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to draw on, the 2016 Oscars promised to deliver some verbal fireworks, and it didn’t disappoint.

The evening supplied plenty of memorable, thought-provoking and downright hilarious quotes from Rock and many of the presenters, winners, nominees and red carpet celebs.

OSCARS 2016: Full coverage | List of winners/nominees | #OscarsSoWhite controversy

Here are some of our favorite lines of the evening:


Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen backstage at the 88th Academy Awards.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

“I gave him [Ryan Seacrest] a hug this year and he kept looking at my hands. He was visibly scared. None of the live TV shows would talk to me this year.”
- Sacha Baron Cohen, referencing his red carpet shenanigans at the 2012 Oscars

Chris Rock

Chris Rock during the telecast of the 88th Academy Awards.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard, but I realized they’re going to have the Oscars anyway. They’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”


“Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist, but it ain’t the racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like: ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’”
- Host Chris Rock on the pressure to step down in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy

VIDEO: The five best lines from Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue >>

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the lead actor award for “The Revenant.”

(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters and the big corporations but speak for all of humanity and the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
- Leonardo DiCaprio, in his speech after winning the lead actor Oscar for “The Revenant.”

Brie Larson

Brie Larson hugs her “Room” co-star Jacob Tremblay during the 88th Academy Awards.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“What just happened? What’s happening? Oh my God. Tell me where to go, I have no idea. Oh my God, this is so cool!”
- Brie Larson, after winning the lead actress Oscar for “Room”

‘Spotlight’ producers

The producers of best picture winner “Spotlight,” from left: Steve Golin, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin and Michael Sugar.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“I hope that you as journalists, here and throughout the world, will help resonate our message all the way to the Vatican and maybe we can have change in the world. That’s what we hope to accomplish. The story of ‘Spotlight’ has really just begun.”
-"Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar

Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Alejandro G. Iñárritu with his Oscar backstage at the 88th Academy Awards.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“The debate is not only about black and white people. The complexity is more than just one one or another — the debate is becoming polarized without exploring the complexity of this country being so mixed — still we are dragging this tribal thing.”
- “The Revenant” director Alejandro G. Iñárritu on Oscar diversity

Margaret Sixel

Margaret Sixel backstage at the 88th Academy Awards.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“There is some prejudice that women can’t cut action. ... I think it will change. I think it’s already changing. That’s my personal feeling. You just watch in the next 10 years, balance will come back in our favor, I think." 
- Margaret Sixel, winner for film editing for “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Louis C.K. and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with her Oscar for “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” and presenter Louis C.K. backstage at the 88th Academy Awards.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“These people will never be rich as long as they live... this Oscar means something. This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic.”
- Louis C.K., on the nominees in the documentary short category

Emmanuel Lubezki

“The Revenant” cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, with Rachel McAdams backstage at the 88th Academy Awards.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“I never saw the Academy Awards as a competition. I think it’s something you guys [the media] created.”
- Oscar-winning “The Revenant” cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki

Chris Rock

2016 Oscars host Chris Rock.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“Black lives matter.”
Chris Rock, at the show’s conclusion


Transcript: Read Chris Rock’s 2016 Oscars opening monologue

Chris Rock was right, this year the Oscars really were a little different

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